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How are employees at different levels affected by privatization?: A longitudinal study of two Swedish hospitals
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
2009 (English)In: Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology, ISSN 0963-1798, E-ISSN 2044-8325, Vol. 82, no 1, 45-65 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Despite the amount of privatizations around the world in recent decades, only limited research attention has been paid to how privatization affects the employees. The effects are likely to vary depending on the individual’s position in the organization. The aim of this study was to investigate how employees’ work-related attitudes and strain changed after privatization of a Swedish acute care hospital, and to analyze whether the effects of privatization differed between employees at various hierarchic levels. Questionnaire data collected at a hospital 1 year before and 2 years after privatization, as well as at a hospital which remained a public administration unit, suggest only limited effects of privatization on a general level, but that employees at various hierarchic levels may be affected differently. While employees at a high level (physicians) and low level (assistant nurses) reported only marginal differences over time in work attitudes and strain, also in comparison with their colleagues at the comparison hospital, work attitudes of employees at the intermediate level (registered nurses) decreased after privatization. These results emphasize the importance of taking hierarchic level into account when a privatization is implemented and analyzed.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2009. Vol. 82, no 1, 45-65 p.
Keyword [en]
privatization, hierarchic level, hospital
National Category
Psychology
Research subject
Psychology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-27606ISI: 000262634300003OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-27606DiVA: diva2:216455
Available from: 2009-05-08 Created: 2009-05-08 Last updated: 2017-12-13Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. How privatization and corporatization affect healthcare employees’ work climate, work attitudes and ill-health: Implications of social status
Open this publication in new window or tab >>How privatization and corporatization affect healthcare employees’ work climate, work attitudes and ill-health: Implications of social status
2010 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Political liberalization and increased public costs have placed new demands on the Swedish public sector. Two ways of meeting these novel requirements have been to corporatize and privatize organizations. With these two organizational changes, however, comes a risk of increased insecurity and higher demands on employees; the ability to handle these changes is likely dependent on their social status within an organization. The general aim of the thesis is to contribute to the understanding of how corporatization and privatization might affect employees’ work climate, work attitudes and ill-health. Special importance is placed on whether outcomes may differ depending on the employees’ social status in the form of hierarchic level and gender. Questionnaire data from Swedish acute care hospitals were used in three empirical studies. Study I showed that physicians at corporatized and privatized hospitals reported more positive experiences of their work climate compared with physicians at a public administration hospital. Study II showed that privatization had more negative ramifications for a middle hierarchic level (i.e., registered nurses) who reported deterioration of work attitudes, while there were no major consequences for employees at high (physicians) or low (assistant nurses) hierarchic levels. Study III found that although the work situation for women and men physicians were somewhat comparable (i.e., the same occupation, the same organization), all of the differences that remained between the genders were to the detriment of women. The results of this thesis suggest that corporatizations and privatizations do not necessarily imply negative consequence for employees. However, the consequences appear to differ between groups with different social status. Employees whose immediate work situation is affected but who do not have sufficient resources to handle the requirements associated with an organizational change may perceive the most negative consequences.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Psychology, Stockholm University, 2010. 70 p.
Keyword
Privatization, corporatization, organizational change, ownership, healthcare employees, acute care hospitals, physicians, social status, hierarchic level, gender, work climate, work attitudes, ill-health
National Category
Psychology
Research subject
Psychology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-37308 (URN)978-91-7447-019-2 (ISBN)
Public defence
2010-04-12, David Magnussonsalen (U31), Frescati Hagväg 8, Stockholm, 10:00 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note
At the time of the doctoral defense, the following papers were unpublished and had a status as follows: Paper 3: Manuscript.Available from: 2010-03-21 Created: 2010-02-22 Last updated: 2010-06-15Bibliographically approved

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